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Our Brain on Humor

Posted: Monday, April 27, 2009
At : 1:12 PM

In Vol 40, Issue 5 of Neuron, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging ( fMRI) to study how the brains of 16 healthy adults responded to funny cartoons.

The brain scans detected areas of the brain that activated when the subjects found the cartoon funny.

The study showed that in addition to areas of the brain involved in language processing, humor also activated the “reward centers” of the brain such as the amygdala, which releases dopamine. plays a vital role in the brain's mesolimbic reward system.

The findings may help explain the hedonistic aspects of humor and could lead to new treatments for depression.

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